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Heart, The

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Heart, The

Published ca. 1950

Quirky science film on the heart and its diseases.

Run time 10:27
Producer Almanac Films
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


Another in the astonishing series of science and nature films narrated by writer/naturalist John Kieran, The Heart achieves a surreal effect from the combination of aimless narration and precise German visuals. Like the other films in the "John Kieran's Kaleidoscope" series, it was reworked from a Thirties documentary produced in Germany and relicensed as "alien property" after the war. Without meaning to frighten, this film spreads feelings of unease.

Ken Smith sez: More John Kieran meandering narration (see Ant City and Giant Beetles), which occasionally provides an interesting counterpoint to this film's occasionally surreal animated visuals (there's also a great scene of a woman having a heart attack). If you're wondering why the footage in this film is more visually dynamic than Kieran's "bug" features, it's because it was lifted out of a thirties German production about health and fitness.
dog chasing ball with a set path in the BG
man riding bike down path, dog comes into the shot from the left and begins to attack the biker's feet. He proceeds to kick the dog in an attempt to get the dog to stop. Lake in BG
a CU of a woodpecker, pecking at a tree
a penguin walking into water; penguin diving into water beginning to swim.
Archer fish eating, rod-type figure to side (reflection of each object in top half of picture); fish moves to another area of surface; shot moves upward from fish, spanning to top of rod shaped figure; worm sitting atop rod shaped figure; fish looking up at worm; spitting at worm sitting atop rod shaped figure; CU fish (focus on eye and mouth), enabling viewer to clearly see fish is spitting; MS of fish spitting; CU fish spitting and directly hitting the worm, knocking it off top of rod shaped figure; MS of the fish swimming away; fish eggs; CU fish eggs
CU microscope while a man is turning the lens clockwise.
CU of fish eggs; ECU of fish eggs; fish embryo; more defined shot of a fish embryo with the focus being on a moving black object in the center of the picture, the object is meant to be a heart; the embryo begins to fade away with the beating heart the only object in view; a drawn human heart surrounds the darker fish heart; human heart as the darker fish heart fades away.
Fish heart begins to move/stretch into a shape much more similar to a human heart; turns from black to white; begins to change shape stretching horizontally across center of picture; outline of fish beginning to form around the horizontal figure; outside of fish; fish with the main focus being on the circulatory system.
CU of the heart pumping blood.
Fish whose circulatory system is functioning, pumping blood through it; fish changing into reptile; lizard; reptile's circulatory system; CU area surrounding reptiles heart; CU begins to rotate around in circle; CU of heart pumping blood, wall forms from top to bottom; peace sign begins to appear, a complete peace sign comes in view; circulatory system, fade to heart; pumping heart with black surroundings.
Muscular man lifting train car off ground; CU man's facial
expression; horizontal wipe from top to bottom leading to a MS
of the circulatory system, focus being on heart area, then a zoom out
to a shot of full system, along with human heart pumping.
Shirtless man breaking cement with jackhammer; looks down at cement, shot of cement being broken. CU shovel picking up dirt, MS man shoveling it into oven with circular door. Women carrying bag on shoulder (stairs in BG), CU of bag on her shoulder with hand on it. MS of man getting into truck with CU of steering wheel turning clockwise. CU feet pedaling a bicycle; birds eye view of bikes' handlebars.
CU of man filing, sets down tool.
surgical tools on table with gloved hands holding scissors cutting cotton; CU of nurse ready for surgery, MS of two doctors ready for surgery.
CU of hands holding piece of glass, wiping glass with cotton, placing cotton in beaker. MS of man wearing glasses in lab coat placing it into a microscope. man lifts up glasses and places eye on view finder. CU of him adjusting the microscope.
CU of hand painting; CU of woman's face looking down.
CU of a clock with cloudy sky in BG.
train moving; man in suit running up stairs holding two bags; train pulling away, MCU of man wiping forehead with cloth, then chin walking toward camera.
row of books, hand reaches in removing a book; book is then placed on a table opened up. MS woman speaking and waving hands; woman begins gasping, grabbing chest. She is having a heart attack. An "X" is then drawn through the picture, erasing woman.
X-ray placed on a light box to be looked at, MCU of man's face looking at it (profile shot). man enters an X-ray machine with a doctor setting up machine; man has on long rubber gloves and goggles on head moving a lever up and down; man turns out lights, CU of man's face: a lot of eye movement.
X-ray of human heart pumping in rib cage
machine with lots of knobs, hand opening a door on machine, inside are turning parts, door closed. Hand turning knobs; man laying on a bed, his leg has a tube attached to it below the knee. Upper half of the man's body with tubes attached to his arms also.
piece of film (electrocardiogram or EKG) moves across the picture from right to left, it has wave lines on it; two films in picture, each having different patterns on them.
nurse turning knobs on machine, man lying on a bed with only bottom half of body in picture; he proceeds to stand up and begins to do knee bends (tubes attached to each arm). CU of the mans face, MCU of nurses head.
woman banging a tambourine (trees and grass in BG), women doing
stretching. Looks like modern or avant-garde dancing in the open air.
man running through forest, CU of a plant, man running towards camera along with a shot of his legs running.
many men running in a race on a track, BG has spectators, MCU of spectators watching race, men racing, more spectators (a few standing). a person running, man crossing a finish line, woman jumping over a bar, man turning on a bar, man doing high jump, CU of man shotputting or throwing a discus, man jumping over bar, man turning on a bar, men running in a race, men running through a finish line.
men shaking hands
CU of hands shaking

John Kieran Danger Lurks


Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavorite - July 22, 2003
Subject: You're in my heart!
Another in the Kaleidiscope series (see Bee City) this seems to be a bit more organized then the above film, but it sort of loses it's charm as Mr. Kieran's heart (excuse the pun) doesnt seem to be in it this time, we see some great pictograms of a fish's, a lizard's and finally a human heart to see how they compare, then we see how the human heart works and what causes disease. Some interesting visuals here, but nothing compared to the EB film of the same name.
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